DPP calls on Ma to break deadlock at Legislative Yuan

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - Page 3

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday called on President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to make concessions on a proposal to hold a referendum to decide the fate of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant to break the political stalemate on the issue.

As the DPP caucus continued its occupation of the legislative podium to block the proposal to determine whether to complete the plant in Gongliao (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), through a plebiscite from being put to a legislative vote, DPP caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) urged Ma to resolve the political standoff.

The DPP’s move has brought the extra legislative session to a halt as cross-party negotiations organized by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) have failed to resolve the deadlock.

Ker said the Ma administration is facing at least five thorny political issues that are stalling the nation’s development: the nuclear referendum; the cross-strait service trade agreement; the land expropriation cases in Miaoli County’s Dapu Borough (大埔); the issue of human rights in the military and the anti-media monopoly movement.

On the nuclear referendum, Ker said Ma has three options, of which suspending construction of the facility is the best solution, as well as the key to a process of reconciliation with the opposition camp.

His other options are amending the Referendum Act (公民投票法) to remove the high threshold it sets for plebiscites to be valid and changing the question asked in the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) referendum proposal, Ker said.

The third option is the least preferable, but would be acceptable, the DPP convener said.

The proposed question currently reads: “Do you agree that the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant should be halted and that it not become operational (你是否同意核四廠停止興建不得運轉)?”

Ker said that the DPP does not oppose issues for the sake of being contrarian, saying that Ma should be asking himself if he is devising policies that go against mainstream public opinion.

The DPP will not vacate the podium, unless the extra session is called off tomorrow, he added.